We’re coming up on one of the best days of the year and I cannot wait! Yes of course there’s the food. I mean I’ve been watching The Chew over my lunch hour since the first day of November during their Thanksgiving specials wondering how I will ever choose which dish to try to change it up this year!
However there is more to Thanksgiving than the food (gasp!) and not to mention actually giving thanks (who knew?!), but all of the other moments that make the holiday a holiday. Alas, here are my Top 10 must-haves for a truly authentic Thanksgiving holiday:
1. Waking up with the sensation that it is yes, a holiday. Even though it’s not quite the same sensation as when I was a child, but it’s still fun to know another Thanksgiving has come!
2. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. No I don’t need to see a specific larger-than-life floating cartoon character making its’ way between the New York skyscrapers or the latest pop sensation performing at an exotic location, but by gosh the parade better be on! May it be the wonderful background noise while I’m helping in the kitchen with food prep or finishing my morning coffee, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade must be broadcast through the family room television.
3. Food Prep. I follow suit on this process yet. It is my mother’s kitchen, after all. In a smaller kitchen, the planning of the meal prep for the day is pretty strategic. Start on the things that can be started, need to rest, rise or marinate. Leave the things that can be quickly prepared until the very end. Oven space and timing will also be taken into consideration. I just try to follow instructions here.
4. Family Time. This is one of the parts I love most. Depending on what is happening outside it may be shifted to a different part of the day. However, I enjoy the time in the morning before the meal the most with my family. That is when everything is coming together, some of us are in the kitchen and some in the common room. Luckily it’s an open floor plan so we can all stay fairly engaged.
5. Dishes you’ve waited one year to have. Let’s face it. Their are dishes that are only consumed once a year and most of the time they are at Thanksgiving. I mean, how many times a year do you consume stuffing, cranberry sauce and candied sweet potatoes – not to mention turkey. Besides a regular deli turkey sandwich, how often do you really eat fresh roasted, fried or baked turkey throughout the year?
6. The Meal. Dun-dun-dun….
A meal filled with decisions. What to pick first? How much do I want? Is there even room on my plate for all of this?! Wait… there’s dessert? And we have FIVE pies??
7. Oh yes. The pies. Apple, Pumpkin, Peach and Pecan! And oh, Aunt Sue brought a lemon meringue. Luckily for me this year the apple harvest was bountiful so my family has had our fair of apple desserts this fall. This will make it easier to ditch the apple for dessert and maybe go full on for the pumpkin without hesitation.
8. Having the “at least moderately stuffed feeling.” Come on. There are multiple sides and main courses, appetizers and desserts. Even if you just pick one of each, you will be at least mildly full by the end of the day. “Safely stuffed.”
Movies, games, whatever it may be. Fill your in between snacking time with some entertainment (or exercise) if you find that entertaining.
Fill your day with love. Love for family, love for friends, love for food or love for the celebration of why we observe Thanksgiving. How you show your love is up to you!
What are your Thanksgiving must-haves? Is it traveling to see family or out of the country on vacation? Is it setting up the Christmas tree? Or does your family have a crazy unique Thanksgiving day tradition? Tell me about it!
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!